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Dec 14
2010

Stem cells turned into pancreatic and intestinal cells

Posted by Smthng2Say98 in stem cells , spermatogonial stem cells , pluripotent stem cells , organoids , 

Smthng2Say98

Stem cells really have had an amazing year so far. Researchers have made great strides with what stem cells can do. The other day two more new experiments were reported.

In the first experiment a team from Georgetown University, used spermatogonial stem cells and turned them into pancreatic cells; the spermatogonial stem cells are ones that become sperm in men. The resulting pancreatic cells would not be exclusive to just men, however, because the technology can be used in female oocytes as well.

In the experiment, Ian Gallicano (head of the team), used “germ-derived pluripotent stem cells” (cells that have the ability to become any cells in the body) and in a lab used compounds that helped these cells turn into pancreatic beta cells. When transferred into diabetic mice the cells did indeed produce insulin and acted like the beta cells that the body destroys in patients with Type-1 diabetes. Currently there is no cure for the disease and those suffering from it must take insulin for life. A few people may be eligible for the “Edmonton Protocol” where the pancreatic cells are taken from cadavers, but obviously there are some problems with that method such as compatibility as well as a shortage of cadavers. This new method would certainly be a breakthrough and a life changer.

Oct 11
2010

First patient receives embryonic stem cells

Posted by cleanclosets08 in stem cells , Obama , geron corp , FDA

cleanclosets08

 

                Geron Corporation has announced that it has started a clinical trial in which it has begun treating the first patient to ever receive embryonic stem cells! This is the first documented case of this occurring and is a ground breaking achievement. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued Geron the first ever license that allows the use of embryonic stem cells to treat people, in Geron’s case, those with recent spinal cord injuries.

Oct 04
2010

New method of creating stem cells

Posted by Magnolia172 in treatment , stem cells , RNA , Parkinson's , iPS cells , DNA

Magnolia172

 

            Researchers in Boston are closer to developing a more efficient way to turn skin cells into stem cells. The method, which does not require the use of embryos, was first developed in 2007, but has been recently improved. This is once again good news for people suffering from neurological disorders such as Parkinson's that require stem cells.

            The new method produces iPS cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells just as before, but it now uses forms of RNA(ribonucleic acid) to treat the skin cells, whereas the earlier method included disrupting the DNA of the skin cells. (iPS cells are usually adult somatic cells whose production was artificially  induced to express certain genes). What was bad about this process was that there was a risk of cancer involved for people receiving these new transplant cells. Now, the RNA is the one that sends the instructions from genes to the protein making center of a cell, which is a much safer way to create these stem cells.

Sep 29
2010

Genetic breakthrough could result in new Alzheimer’s treatments

Posted by lovetowalk84 in stem cells , Sox9 , scientists , neuroepithelial , gene therapy , gene technology , 

lovetowalk84

Great news for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, brain tumors or who have had a stroke! British scientists have discovered a genetic mechanism in the development of the nervous system, and it could be soon used for new treatments for these afflictions. The gene, named Sox9, is responsible for the development of neural stem cells in the human embryo. These stems cells are known as master cells since they develop into crucial brain or spinal tissue. Scientists found out that they can use Sox9 to start the production of these master cells, which means that these cells can someday be used to control the production and regeneration of various types of nerve cells.

The development of the nervous system in a human embryo begins two weeks after conception, and until the fifth week, it is mostly made up of neuroepithelial cells. These cells are the ones that control the development of the brain and the spinal cord. After the fifth week, stem cells become other types of nerves and supporting cells that make up the central nervous system. The Sox9 gene is needed for the very purpose of turning the neuroepithelial cells into stem cells; however, a gene known as Shh is also needed for the Sox9 to work.